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Council meets behind closed doors

The D.C. Council is having a meeting in Chairman Vincent C. Gray's (D) conference room, but members will not let reporters view the discussions.

When a Washington Post reporter opened the door to try to enter, citing the open meetings law, Gray told the reporter to leave. Gray said the meeting dealt with a "personnel matter" and was not open to the public.

Another reporter from The Washington Post and one from the Washington Times also tried to enter a few minutes later, but were told that the members were "not conducting official business."

According to the DC code, "All meetings (including hearings) of any department, agency, board, or commission of the District government, including meetings of the Council of the District of Columbia, at which official action of any kind is taken shall be open to the public."

Gray's chief of staff said today's meeting is private because official action wasn't taking place.

In 2006, legislation that would have prevented such closed-door meetings died after the council voted 7 to 6 to send the bill back to committee for review. Gray, at that time, cast the deciding vote.

In July, the council took some heat for conducting its budget negotiations behind closed doors, although they did allow reporters to watch most of the proceedings.

-- Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  October 27, 2009; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Next: Council will send delegation to meet Fenty


Meeting for what? Are you meeting for spiritual guidance or a group cry for the mess you made and getting paid for it?

Posted by: candycane1 | October 27, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL@Candeycane1. Maybe the Council called on Daddy Grace's spirit for guidance.

Posted by: illegalalien | October 28, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

The meeting was probably a war council meeting to determine the next strike against Mayor Fenty. No spies allowed.

Posted by: msjn1 | October 28, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Was "Taxi Cash" "AIDS Grift" Graham there?
It might be helpful if they got together to figure out what to do about that problem. Also, a few minutes on Natwar "Watch them Take the Money and Run" Gandhi might prove useful.

Posted by: SoCali | October 28, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

A pox on both their houses: both Mayor Fenty and the DC Council. I cannot decide which branch of our government is worse.

No, wait, I suppose Mayor Fenty wins this dubious honor by one of the hairs on his head.

Posted by: DCResident22 | October 28, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mary Cheh on her decision not to confirm Dr. Hartsock as director of Parks and Recreation:

"This decision was very difficult for me because I like Dr Hartsock and found her personable and responsive... for me the determinative issue was the failure to follow the law."

However, a United States District court dismissed the claims that Dr. Hartock failed to "follow the law."

Go back to law school Councilmember Cheh.

We know your decision was based on a powerplay with the mayor but please find a better excuse next time.

Posted by: lindabelledc | October 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Council's demographics:
a) Stupid: Harry Thomas, Michael Brown
b) Vengful: Mary Cheh, Vincent Gray
c) Dirty: Marion Barry, Kwame Brown
d) Gay: Phil Mendelson, Jim Graham
e) Fair: Tommy Wells, Muriel Bowser
f) Smart but dangerous: Jack Evans, David Catania
g) Fat: Ivette Alexander


Posted by: nhfaa | November 2, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

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